Florentino Pérez: Do not destroy the Quekchí indigenous river in Guatemala

More than 29,000 indigenous quekchi in Alta Verapaz (Guatemala) continue to see every day how the Cahabón River, next to the living, is dangerously losing its flow because of the construction of the hydroelectric complex is reborn.


After 16 months of campaign, November 2, 2017, Alliance for solidarity delivered 25.552 signatures at the headquarters of the ACS group, presidida por Florentino Pérez. Con estas firmas, miles de personas en todo el mundo pedían la suspensión de la participación del Grupo Cobra-ACS en Renace IV y Renace V hasta que no se consulte a la población indígena, según se establece en la legislación internacional asumida por Guatemala, y no se realice una evaluación exhaustiva sobre los impactos sociales, económicos y ambientales de la totalidad del complejo hidroeléctrico Renace.

These facts have been reported before various bodies as the Inter-American Commission on human rights; the Global Compactentity of which ACS forms part and which commits him to respect human rights and the environment; National point of contact of the lines of the established Spanish OECD guidelines in the Ministry of economy, industry and competitiveness to promote the effectiveness of the guidelines for multinational enterprises in relation to responsible corporate behaviour; European Parliament, in which it has been alleged to Florentino Perez before European Commission by get rid of a river in Guatemala, as a "violation of the environmental protection clauses contained in the agreement framework between the European Union and Central America"; the Davos Forum; Parliament and the Spanish Senate.

Under this pressure, the Grupo ACS-Cobra apologized, as subcontractor, the issues of human rights in this project not appropriate.

However, this is not so. As it exposes the numeral 14 of the guiding principles of the United Nations on business and human rights, the principle of due diligence in respect of human rights extends to all companies, not differentiating between funding companies or participating companies (contractors and subcontractors).

Therefore, the participation of the ACS group in carrying out the works of REBORN makes this company complicit in violations being committed.

Receipt of signatures last November 2 is a first step. However We need to continue reminding Florentino Perez that business could not be contrary rights or natural resources.

We are still collecting new signatures to make the ACS-Cobra group responsible for human rights.

Without consultation and environmental assessment of the entire project

The free, prior and informed consultation to indigenous peoples in relation to the exploitation of natural resources in their territory is a demand that sets Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) concerning indigenous and tribal peoples, in force in Guatemala since 1996.

Although the first final authorization to use the public property for this project took place in the year 2004, so far no has been consulted indigenous peoples. These facts represent a violation of international and national legislation.

Aunque se ha realizado estudios parciales de cada una de las cinco fases para obtener los preceptivos permisos, no se ha llevado a cabo un estudio de todo el complejo hidroeléctrico que tenga en cuenta los impactos acumulativos del proyecto completo que actualmente está acaparando 30 kilómetros del río Cahabón e impide a las comunidades circundantes acceder y hacer uso del agua necesaria para vivir.

Difamaciones y amenazas

Las comunidades y las organizaciones que se han opuesto al proyecto están siendo amenazadas, difamadas y criminalizadas por manifestarse e intentar hacerse oír de manera pacífica. Bernardo Caalone of the leading quekchi, directly live this situation, being imprisoned for defending the Cahabón River against the hydroelectric megraproyectos from January 31, 2018.

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